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Updating RCMP ‘militaristic’ training is long overdue, experts say

OceanBonfire

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Blandford said he remembered the academy, also known as Depot, having a “militaristic” culture that he wanted to avoid.

“It was essentially military boot camp,” said Blandford, now an assistant professor and program coordinator in policing and public safety at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“It was a training facility that was very built around where everything was geared toward developing the culture of the RCMP, marching and discipline.”

Blandford instead opted to attend the Ontario Police College, later graduating and becoming a police officer for 30 years.

 
There's a lot of suggestions on ways to change the RCMP in that article, but literally nothing about how those changes are supposed to solve problems within the Force. I don't think, from my brief review of the article, it even mentions a significant issue facing the force in the article. I think perhaps this guy is outside his arcs, by a lot.
 
Look, the problem with the military is it’s too militaristic. C’mon!
I think we all know that with societies are the way they are these days, that 100% IS the problem! 😅


So I can't arrogantly (yet for the most part fairly accurately) brush him off as some overly opinionated artsy type if his opinion is on a law enforcement issue & he spent a 30 year career in law enforcement.

I've got time for him.

On the surface it sounds like some pretty broad brushes about an agency he didn't really work for (only graduated from a recruit class, and even that was decades ago)


Thanks for posting, I'll read tonight
 
Horseshit. I taught recruits at depot and I taught BMQ. Nothing remotely similar beyond they march on base and have room inspections. I also helped in building curriculums and worked with psychologists and civilians on how the training was provided and structured.

All of these people are out of their minds as to the reality of policing in remote locations and what they think will help make Mounties.
 
He said he has also seen cases where charges have been dismissed because an officer was not able to articulate the evidence they had.
This is probably unique to the Mounties right?

So if we make that jump-

The OPP makes rapists at the Ontario Police College.


The present Mounties built are the least militaristic we ve ever made- with the least ability to accept what they’re told to do. Least likely to toe the line. Less likely to have any respect for rank or how that authority structure works.

There’s lots of benefits that comes with the free thinking. But there is an incredible amount of downsides too- the missing gap is supervision and experience.

All these free thinkers with their good ideas need to be supervised by experienced people in order to hold the train on the rails.

A lack of quality NCOs with experience and interest in leading is what is missing,

Good enthusiastic new people with good ideas led by strong NCOs that care about their people and understand how to accomplish a goal.

That’s your missing piece.
 
This is probably unique to the Mounties right?

So if we make that jump-

The OPP makes rapists at the Ontario Police College.


The present Mounties built are the least militaristic we ve ever made- with the least ability to accept what they’re told to do. Least likely to toe the line. Less likely to have any respect for rank or how that authority structure works.

There’s lots of benefits that comes with the free thinking. But there is an incredible amount of downsides too- the missing gap is supervision and experience.

All these free thinkers with their good ideas need to be supervised by experienced people in order to hold the train on the rails.

A lack of quality NCOs with experience and interest in leading is what is missing,

Good enthusiastic new people with good ideas led by strong NCOs that care about their people and understand how to accomplish a goal.

That’s your missing piece.
It's so true.

It's the 'glue' that makes the difference between individual officers with little policing experience having a good idea, but going about it the wrong way...causing admin issues for the detachment or division as a whole, and a potential loss of faith from the community they serve...

And that same officer having a good leader at the detachment that they can go to with that same idea, who hears it out & gets it, and says "That's a great idea! If I were you, I would to about it this way for a, b, c, etc"

(Or telling the same officer that it's a terrible idea, and explaining the reasons why...)
 
Okay so I read the article and I'm with Booter - total horse shit.

(That Commission Report on the Nova Scotia mass shooting was garbage, in my own opinion. It completely strayed outside of its lane, and made baseless suggestions on how to 'fix' random issues in policing that aren't especially RCMP centric...)

But now we have articles like this that will come out, reference the Commissioner's Report to try to sound like the ideas are more credible or at least backed up, when they aren't credible or supported.


For example...it says charges couldn't proceed once because an officer couldn't articulate why they were charging an individual. Well no f**king s**t...

If I asked someone I work with at SOLGEN why they were taking someone into custody & what the charges were/why they were charging someone and they couldn't articulate why...I'd probably recommend we put the brakes on that too.


Also let's remember, that report was to look into that situation and make recommendations (if any) that the RCMP, and everybody else also, could apply in the future.

Then we have this report talking about how the training is 'too militaristic' - meanwhile it was an ERT member unloading on the shooter at a gas station which ended it... (The most militaristic-SOF type thing an RCMP member can do in uniform...)



My 2 cents...

RCMP Depot NEEDS to have certain training standards in place, and approach that training in a certain way.

There needs to be discipline, there needs to be a focus on PT so officers starting their career are in far better shape than the average Joe, and there needs to be a focus on officer safety (which quite often means the individual that is threatening the officer's safety gets put down) and investigations need to be approached in certain ways so they can bare fruit & don't get dismissed due to Charter complaints.

And there needs to be an element of stress, challenge, fitness, the importance of processes, and why things are done the way they are.

Because you have people from all over the country, with different backgrounds, going into Depot - and coming out as law enforcement professionals who need to be on the same relative page.



My overall point?

This article is trash. I read it, I was open to hearing what the guy had to say after spending 30yrs as a cop. But 'being scary and not what I wanted' - while also stating his experience there was 40 years ago...

Is there a recent incident that I'm forgetting about, where the RCMP having a 'focused & disciplined' curriculum was a huge factor & resulted in a negative outcome?
 
The idea with all this education talk- is this mistaken belief that if there was a more educated cop that there wouldn’t have been a mass casualty commission because they would have dealt with Wortman earlier- because smarter people would have outfoxed him on all the tips. It’s a very Canadian conceit. Usually followed up with some comment about Europe and a population that is completely unrelated to our circumstances- or courts and number of offenders and types of crime….

It’s nonsense. Not based in reality, and is something that pops up every few years or something similar,

I couldn’t find the authors bio, edit- I found the officers bio. They appear to be a well experienced and well educated officer- I don’t have a theory for their issue with the RCMP but the article quotes a criminology professor who has no experience as well who talks about the need for more education, asking a barber if you need a hair cut.

That said how Blandford was able to get enough information about the program without attending, as some applicant, to know that it was too militaristic when he joined the OPP instead of the RCMP in 1983…seems like a bit of mental reverse engineering.

I’m willing to bet at least half or more of the officers involved in Nova Scotia had education past high school if the numbers are similar to any of the places I’ve managed people.

I was an expert for court years back and the guy who was the expert for the defence was a tapped university professor, when I pointed out to the crown after seeing their CV that they weren’t actually an expert we were able to have them not qualified in court as one during that part of the process. The public commonly Taps these university types when there is a media frenzy over force- and their only understanding of violence is what they inflected on themselves as a teenager. These academics are also incredibly sensitive about their own importance- and have a tendency to last out when pressed on their relevant experience. I would have thought they were immune to that- because they have educations. But I guess it’s only cops that would suddenly become zen with a degree.

I went looking for a current breakdown of the OPC hours for their recruit training so I could compare them to the depot scheme. I couldn’t find a current one.

I know from most curriculums I looked are there isn’t a substantial difference in most cases, always less drill. Which I also think could be better spent on other stuff BUT not so much of difference that there is some superior agency high ground.

I have met a ton of good OPC grads and good/great OPP officers.
 
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And guess who would be hired to preach his "I don't like the RCMP model".

Twinning Let Me Think GIF by American Family Insurance


I wonder who...
 
Is there a recent incident that I'm forgetting about, where the RCMP having a 'focused & disciplined' curriculum was a huge factor & resulted in a negative outcome?

I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the blatant practise of eugenics, in pursuit of a pure bloodlined 'Master Race', regularly practised by the RCMP and clearly supported by tax payers dollars ;)

royal-canadian-mounted.jpg
 
I read the author's WL CV and, assuming it is self-written, doesn't use terms that are consistent with the OPP service. I see that part of his academic career had him in charge of the "Fire Science and Public Safety" program at a college. Maybe we will hear from him sometime when a major fire incident occurs and can tell us how the fire services are all wrong.

With the greatest of respect to anyone on here with a degree, particularly a graduate one, in policing or public safety, I can count on the fingers of one finger the ones that I have known, worked with or read articles from that have any credibility with me. Even with those who spent time 'in harness' I often wonder how much of that time was spent telling his superiors how wrong things are sharing his good ideas. It's hard to toss away decent pay and a pension, and clearly he didn't hate policing enough to leave.

Free or lateral thinking is fine, so long as it is bounded within an enforced (term used loosley) or articulated professional culture; in this case not just the police service but the criminal justice system as a whole. This is part of what Booter said so well. In a deployed service, first line supervision is probably thin on the ground, and detachment command is now closer to management than command, spending most of their time 'liaising' with communities and Rgion/Divison.

You might think you have a wonderful innovative way to cook a Big Mac, but if the corporation isn't on side, you'll probably end up on the street. In the public service, the reality is a unrestrained free thinker, unless they cross into the criminal realm, just become a career pains in the butt.

In the academic world, there is constant need to research or publish. I'm always wondering who seeks out whom when we see articles such as this.

The one difference between Depot and OPC is no one service 'owns' the facility, so there is little cultural enforcement of a particular service. Even back in my day, drill wasn't a huge component; mostly basic work and getting ready for graduation. I'm way too removed from anything to do with training but from what I see of the results, anything to do will drill (and deportment for that matter) has fallen well down the list.
 
A friend of mine way back when, was interviewing to join the OPP.
He was asked questions that went along the lines of this.
Do you have problems with getting up at 530AM for PT, breakfast, room inspection?
Do you have a problem wearing a uniform and being told how to wear it?
Do you have a problem with firearms training?
Do you have problems working late into the night and waking up early?

His answers were along the line of, are you hiring instructors? I do this everyday in the army, when teaching recruit courses and other trade training.

Does the RCMP need to be military like in training? Yes and no. They need to learn how to wear a uniform, they have leaving in barracks like buildings, so some one has to clean up after themselves. Marching, hate to say it and this is from a guy who was famous for not being able to march. Yes because there are enough police officer funerals and you got to do the march in the service.
Do they need firearms training, and since they use military styled weapons, the military styled training works because it is proven to be safe and standard training helps later if they ever have to use it.
PT, sorry if you are going to be a Police Officer, you better be in better shape than the actors who pretend to be cops on tv, because you do not know where the suspect is going to be running to and where you are going to catch them. No scripts are followed.

Traditions are important, they need a common bond to the officer beside them when doing the job, so they know both have started in the same spot and know how the other one will react in situations.

Modern day police services, do not have room for racism, substance abuse, or using the badge to get sex, ( there are a lot of badge bunnies out there for both sexes without need to abuse the power of the badge) . No room for physical violence when not required. The old school ways were wrong back then and just as wrong today.

The need for a training depot is needed, same as some services have a police college. I think the problem is with the name not the program.
 
In the 80s they could make you stand in a garbage can because you’re “f*^%#ng garbage” for hours and instructors would fight cadets- bet on recruits in rings.

Today- an instructor gets counselled for things like- a recruit has to shoot their pistol to qualify and is down to their last attempt. They’re so excited that they shake the instructors hand after squeaking by- the instructor says “nice work pushing through your nerves. I can tell it was ALOT because your palms are sweaty”. Harassment complaint AND bullying,

The name “depot” could be the issue because they like to pretend that the place in the late 70s and today is the same.
 
The comparisons between the RCMP “colonial paramilitary” model and other services’ “Sir Robert Peel” model raise their ugly heads again…

Maybe the Peel model works better in services that serve a specific community and the RCMP model works better for services that serve a larger, more spread out jurisdiction…I don’t know. 🤷‍♂️
 
Horseshit. I taught recruits at depot and I taught BMQ. Nothing remotely similar beyond they march on base and have room inspections. I also helped in building curriculums and worked with psychologists and civilians on how the training was provided and structured.

All of these people are out of their minds as to the reality of policing in remote locations and what they think will help make Mounties.
It would have been helpful if the author of the noted article actually spent a day at Depot. I went in 87/88. It wasn't army hard, but it was tough enough. The recruits were not better or worse than the hundreds I have since worked with in Ontario, who came from the OPC. Asides from the OPC folks couldn't march as well and they didn't think the Mounties were the best police force in the free world....:). More training - sure it can't hurt and most certainly will help. Problem is. Unlike CAF........cops are operational all the time, with few (if any) reserves to free up folks to train more than they currently do - which is always a struggle when trying to put bums in cruisers.
 
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